Hello everyone and welcome back to the So What If I Sew blog! We are back for another ‘My Week In Sewing’ except technically it is two weeks as last weekend we were away on holiday. It’s been an exceedingly busy two weeks and I have been really looking forward to sitting down on my sofa with a cup of tea and taking a moment to reflect and write this blog. As we were off work from Friday to Thursday and actually away Saturday to Tuesday, the weeks have somewhat blurred into one so I will do my best to separate them and remember the interesting things but honestly its more likely to be a thematic blog this week!
Last week(w/c 11th) I was working on an exhibition opening and I have to say my me-made work wardrobe really came into its own. I wore my second Chalk & Notch Fringe Dress – which to tell the truth isn’t completely finished( I still need to sort the sleeves) but I wore it anyway and no one noticed so I’m counting that as a win. Then for the night of the private view I got my favourite Nina Lee Portobello trousers out – stylish, elegant, and space for two phones and an epi-pen in the pockets and a radio on the waistband! Then on Maundy Thursday the sun shone and I unearthed a make I had completely forgotten about. This McCalls M7531 midi dress(shown on the left) in a super cute pink stripey ribbed jersey from Sew Much Moor. It was funny, I was sat in bed on Wednesday night trying to figure out what to wear, I was going into the office and then having dinner in London in the evening with a friend so needed an outfit to do both. Then as I scrolled through my instagram account my me-made wardobe came galloping to the rescue! This dress was made in October and the fabric is far too thin to wear in the winter so I had just sort of forgotten about it but I love that even though the fabric is lightweight, the length helps to keep you warm and cosy, I love how comfortable it is while still looking smart, and I love the colours. Now that this make has been brought to the front of the wardrobe, I know it will be getting top billing for the rest of the spring/summer.
One of the functions of these blogs is take a moment and think about my week. I know I mentioned I was starting to be a bit better about taking time for myself but this philosophy sort of dissolved in the run up to the holiday as so much had to be done before I left. However on reflection I did manage to take some time for myself before it all kicked off! I started last week with a relaxed Sunday at the hairdressers. My appointments take roughly 6 hours but I really value that time to sit and relax, to read a magazine, to get a bit of local gossip, and generally enjoy time that is truly my own. I had dinner with a friend that I’ve not really seen since January 2020 which was wonderful and on Good Friday Adam and I had a wonderful relaxed afternoon in town together. What originally was a quick admin trip for birthday presents and picking up shoes from Timpsons, devolved into a full day together in town including lunch out and some shopping for me – I managed with great difficult to stay away from the fabric shop but I am on a fabric ban until I have enough space to the fabric I currently own! I also managed to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to finish my purple satin dress in time for our weekend away so instead of stressing and beating myself up I decided to be kind to myself and I ended up buying a RTW jumpsuit(as shown below with the bomber jacket) and a red jersey dress. Both of which I adore and fit me perfectly! Thats the funny thing, when you fully stop shopping for clothes and sew most of your wardrobe, buying something RTW becomes a lovely treat. Something that happens once in a while and that I appreciate far more than I used to. I really enjoyed trying things on, thinking about upcoming makes and silhouettes but not feeling pressure to get anything just engaging with my love of clothes and treating myself after what has been a really intense couple of years.
My main sewing project last week was my first Cashmerette Club pattern, the Kimball Bomber Jacket. I used a ponte di roma jacquard for the main jacket, black ribbing for the cuffs, neckline, and waistband, and a cosy viscose for the sleeve lining. Looking at this garment both in photos and on the sofa next to me right now, I still can’t quite believe I made it. So lets talk construction details: this project involved bias bound seams, zip pockets, jacket zips, and it allowed me a first go at quilting fabric. The sleeves are made of three layers of fabric, an outer jacket layer, an inner lining, and then a layer of batting sandwiched between the two to give the sleeve some body. It also contributes to making the jacket super cosy to wear. I quilted it by eye which was tricky, as neither fabric would take chalk markings, but it worked out fine if a tiny bit messy and then literally yesterday while I was tidying I discovered that I have a quilting foot for my machine. That would definitely have helped!
The pockets were also a real learning curve, for some reason I really struggled to get my head around attaching the pocket bags for the zips, but sure enough doing just one step at a time and not reading ahead(not reading ahead helps me when I a overthinking and I just need to focus on the step at hand), the instructions guided me through and I have two excellent pockets. There are also loads of other techniques in this that were a little new to me such as bias bound seams – which I love! All in all it was a real journey and I’m incredibly proud of it. I mean…please don’t look at the inside or anything and its by no means perfect, but I am extremely happy with the result and I know its going to get alot of use this summer. I was so proud of it that I wore it out in London on the Saturday night and made Adam take photos of me against a cool black wall outside our hotel. I had a bit of a vogue moment and I regret nothing. Side note: do we love my new sunglasses? The result of over an hour trying sunglasses on at TK Maxx but I am very pleased!
The bomber jacket and jumpsuit emsemble was in honour Adam’s mum’s 60th Birthday, we had dinner with most of his extended family and then went to see Cabaret which was an absolutely wonderful production. If you get the chance to visit the Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre I thoroughly recommend it! Then on the Sunday we escaped to the countryside for a few days walking and relaxing at a country house hotel in the North Downs to celebrate our anniversary. On our way back through London on Tuesday we rounded the trip off with nearly two hours, and an ungodly amount of money, spent in the enormous Waterstones in Gower Street. All in all a wonderful weekend and very much needed! Since we got back earlier this week we’ve been trying to sort things out as between work, Adam and I being ill, my MA, and the holiday, we STILL haven’t finished unpacking the house after the move! I know everyone says that unpacking takes time but Adam and I are normally very very speedy unpackers so it is a little stressful that the flat still isn’t completely sorted. We will get there though and there really isn’t that much left to do, it just feels a lot at the moment – we shall prevail!
However I have had time to get some good sewing in this week! After work on Friday I got the overlocker out and finished all the seams on my white Marlo cardigan. Now I just need to decide whether I want to put buttons on it or if I’m happy with it as it is. I have also been beavering away at my Harriet Bra and I am pleased to report that I now have about 75% of an actual bra! The casing is going to be attached next and then elastic to almost every side and then I just need to wait for the rings and sliders to arrive so that I can attach the straps. Idiotically I used my original rings and sliders on my Friday Pattern Company Saltwater Slip Dress which I will be able to tell you all about next weekend. Yesterday evening I also managed a little batch cutting and cut out my next Cashmerette ambassador project – I can’t reveal the pattern just yet – and my Closet Core Pietra trousers which I’m hoping to start this week as well.
I even managed to get a vlog out this weekend! Head over to my youtube channel for updates on my favourite spring makes, my summer plans, and an update on my make nine challenge.
So its been a week (or two!) of bits and pieces. I’m sorry I don’t have anything more meaningful to discuss this week but I really do love these blogs as a way to chat to you all and give you little updates on my sewing. Sadly there will be no sewing for me today as I need to write 3000 words of my dissertation for tomorrow for my tutor to review – wish me luck! Its only my lit review and I have done a massive amount of reading and I’m also fully prepared that what I give her on Monday is very much a first draft and I will most likely edit it a further 6 times before my tutor does her second review. However there is just time to squeeze in this week’s favourite fabric and patterns!
Pattern of the Week: Absolutely loving the Cashmerette Vernon Shirt at the moment! I’m on a Cashmerette kick at the moment and I definitely fancy the idea of making a shirt with no gape and no pulling buttons!
Fabric of the Week: This Ecru Patterned Viscose from Sew Sew Sew has absolutely stolen my heart! I want culottes, I want a dress, I want a skirt, I want absolutely anything and everything in this fabric!
Anyway, I had better get on with my dissertation so thank you all for joining me again this week and I’ll see you next weekend for another My Week In Sewing!